It's time to take stock of where we stand as a nation. The election of 2012 offers us a stark contrast, between candidates who are looking to protect our Second Amendment rights and those who seek to restrict those same freedoms. Over the past month, I've been alerting you to some dangers on the horizon. As we consider the path we are about to embark upon, it's good to recall what's at stake.
We need to prevent the next president from appointing a Supreme Court that would reverse the two landmark Second Amendment cases — Heller and McDonald. In those decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that all American citizens, no matter where they live, have the right to legally possess a firearm as a means of self-defense. These decisions were a tremendous accomplishment, and they finally ratified what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they drafted the Second Amendment.
As much as I wish this issue were solved once and for all, it is not. The Heller and McDonald cases were decided by the razor-thin majority of 5-4 in the Supreme Court. Those who want to overturn these decisions are betting on at least one of the five Supreme Court justices who voted for these laws to retire or otherwise leave service during the next four years. It's possible that the next president will have three vacancies to fill on the high court.
Every plan needs a backup, and this one is no different. We also need to make sure we have a U.S. Senate that is supportive of our fundamental freedoms, because the Senate votes to confirm new judges and justices alike. Several of the key 2012 Senate races are in highly competitive "battleground" states, which may tip the balance of power in this country. If you live in one of these states, it's important for you to make your voice heard.
Having the right president and Senate is also essential when we are dealing with the United Nations. This past summer, the U.N. debated a global arms trade treaty, and we came dangerously close to the treaty's actually passing. This would be disastrous for gun owners in the USA. The focus of the treaty would demand that governments regulate the sale and possession of firearms worldwide — all of them, including yours and mine.
The goal was to disgorge a treaty in time for the Obama administration to sign it before Election Day. The draft treaty would have required the United States to "maintain records of all imports and shipments of arms," register the identities of the "end users" of those firearms and then report the users' information to a U.N.-based gun registry. In several drafts, the treaty would have mandated that every round of ammunition be tracked globally. The treaty may have stalled this summer, but the negotiations are ongoing. We must ensure it never gets ratified by the Senate or signed by the president.
On Election Day, we must ensure that we have confidence in our leaders and their objectives. One issue that has troubled me for nearly two years now is Operation Fast and Furious. The Department of Justice's inspector general released a report last month about the bungled "gunwalking" operation, and most of the media accepted the findings without questions. For me, there are still lots of critical questions unanswered. Who on earth decided that facilitating the smuggling of guns to drug cartels was an appropriate law enforcement mission to begin with? Thousands of guns walked into Mexico are still on the loose. Where are they, and how many are out there? Does the U.S. government have a plan to recapture them, or will we simply spend years wondering how many more victims they are being used to kill? And who will make sure that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives admits it if and when these guns surface at crime scenes here in the U.S.? It is my dual hope that these questions will be answered soon and that we will elect a government that has the foresight never to let this happen again.
I have stood up for justice my entire life. This election is too important for you to sit home and not vote. I urge you to register to vote in this election, because you truly can make a difference. The deadline to register is fast approaching in most states. Visit http://www.TriggerTheVote.org today; all the information you need to register is there. Together we can build a brighter, safer future in which we know our fundamental constitutional rights are preserved by our national leaders — not threatened and undermined.
Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.blogspot.com. To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.